It is that time again for the Altrusa Club of Sherman’s Annual Christmas Pilgrimage of Homes. Benefiting the group’s scholarship fund for local students at Grayson College in Denison and Austin College in Sherman, this year’s tour will include three homes two of which are in Sherman and one is in Denison.
Funds from the pilgrimage will also be donated to local charities.
The tour will be held from 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10. There will also be a tea, silent auction and Christmas tree display at The Renaissance, 3701 Loy Lake Road in Sherman.
Tickets are available from an Altrusa member or by calling 903-892-1156. In advance, they are $15 per person and are $20 at any home on the tour or at The Renaissance on the day of the tour.
Wendorf home — 3639 Rosewood Drive, Denison
Dedicating the holiday season to those that have died this year, the Wendorf home will be decorated in honor of the family matriarchs.
“For us, Christmas has always been about family,” Debi Wendorf said. “This year the family has taken a loss. My husband and I both lost our mothers. My mother always kept Christmas about children and decorated for them. My mother-in-law did things more formally. Our dining room is all her this year. Her table, her china and glassware. And her Christmas village.”
Osterhout home — 2919 Butterfield Trail, Sherman
The Osterhout house will also be celebrating family and traditions that have been in the family for more than 30 years.
“We enjoy this time of year as everyone slows down and comes back home to be together and celebrate the accomplishments of the year,” Donna Osterhout said. “It’s a wonderful time. Two favored traditions are the annual Christmas picture and the arrival of the Santas. For many years the collection of Santa figures has grown. The kids enjoy poking fun at how many are displayed each year but then occasionally and quietly bring a Santa home as a gift.”
The family hosts an annual contest to count the Santas.
“It is always great fun,” Osterhout said. “The Christmas picture is also a long-standing tradition. Each year, prior to opening presents, everyone stands in front of the tree and a family picture is taken. In this time of reflection, it is a joy to follow the progress through the years as the family grows up and grows larger.”
Bullard home — 3204 Bandera Drive, Sherman
Christmas is Thea Bullard’s favorite holiday of the year because she gets to spend time with family and friends.
“I raised my children in Southeast Texas, but when it came to Christmas, they wanted to be with their eight Baird cousins in Sherman,” she said. “Every year on Christmas Eve, we made the six-hour drive, complete with all of the gifts from Santa Claus — wrapped in black plastic bags — to Sherman.”
Bullard said that her daughters knew Santa would find them in Sherman.
“Christmas morning was wonderful with 10 little kiddos, but we were all so weary after staying up half of the night, putting together doll houses and bicycles,” she said. “We had a long day ahead of us. At noon on Christmas Day, we packed up and drove to Dallas for Christmas lunch with my husband’s sister and family. This was still not the end of our Christmas trek.”
Around 4 p.m., the family would drive to East Texas to have its third Christmas visit.
“This time, we had Christmas dinner with my husband’s grandmother, aunties and all of the Bullard cousins,” Bullard said. “We loved it. This was Christmas to us until my girls were in their teens. About three years ago, I moved to Sherman to once again be near my Baird family. I love having my family near me.”
Bullard built a new home this year so that she could have the family gathering place for the holidays.
“We love to decorate over-the-top for Christmas — lots of glitz,” she said. “I hope that you will enjoy my new home and our style of Christmas.”